Christian Bale. (Andy Wong/AP)

The “Dark Knight” actor traveled eight hours from Beijing, where he was promoting the film, “Flowers of War,” to meet Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer and activist who has been confined to his home since being released from prison in September 2010.

Bale — whose run-in with the guards was taped by the CNN camera crew he was traveling with — was pushed and hit by guards attempting to knock a small camera from his hands. He asked the men, “Why can I not visit this free man?” Bale later told CNN, “What I really wanted to do was to meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is.”

Chen, a self-taught lawyer, gained international notoriety after he began taking the cases of women who underwent forced abortions and sterilization. He was sentenced to four and a half years in prison in 2006 for damaging property and disrupting traffic, charges that his supporters say were fabricated, as the Post reported.